SWEDEN has introduced border controls and identity checks for travellers from Denmark in an attempt to lessen the number of migrants arriving in the country.
The estimated 20,000 daily commuters now wanting to cross the Oresund Bridge – which connects Malmo and Lund to the Danish capital of Copenhagen – will be refused entry without the necessary documents.
As of Monday January 4, train, bus and ferry services will be subject to delays of an additional 40 minutes for commuters heading to Sweden, and rail users will now have to change trains at Copenhagen Airport and go through ID checkpoints.
While the object of the border control reinforcement is obviously to limit the flow of migrants into Sweden, Dr Per Tryding from the Swedish Chamber of Commerce told the BBC he believes the move was designed to provoke the Danish government and make them shut their own borders with Germany, which would potentially move the refugee flows further south.
He went on to add, “We’ve had a Nordic Schengen agreement between us since the fifties, the whole area is one big metropolitan area which is now split by the border, so this is a real shock for that reason for people here.”
Today’s action by the Swedish government is likely to accelerate and strengthen the simmering arguments within the Danish government seen this week to close their borders with Germany.
Sweden was the second most popular destination after Germany in 2015 with around 150,000 migrant applications, where in contrast, Denmark expects to see 20,000 asylum seekers in 2016.